‘Milestone in our cricket’
Khaled Mahmud Sujon, the former national captain and all-rounder, was one of the star performers in the 1999 World Cup. Though he wants to forget the memories of the 2003 edition, Sujon spoke to The Daily Star Sport about his experiences of the premier one-day tournament.
Daily Star Sport (DSS): How excited were you before the 1999 World Cup began?
Khaled Mahmud Sujon (KMS): It was a dream come true, to play in the World Cup. A thing that often makes me smile is a press conference at the Bangabandhu National Stadium where I, as the vice-captain, said that we will beat Scotland and create one upset. A lot of people laughed it off but later I became a soothsayer (laughs)!
A year before the World Cup, we toured England, Scotland and Ireland. We were on a taxi when the driver, a Bangladeshi, recognized us and requested us to beat Pakistan the following year.
DSS: You also played the 2003 edition, how did the two compare for you?
KMS: I don’t want to remember the 2003 World Cup. It was such a nightmare tournament. I think its better we talk about the 1999 one as we are so close to our first home World Cup.
DSS: How does the 1999 tournament rate in terms of tours?
KMS: I believe that one day, we’ll become world champions. But nobody can ever forget the 1999 World Cup. It was a milestone in Bangladesh cricket.
If you talk about the tour, the cold weather was something different for us too. Specially in Scotland, it was too much for us. And Nannu bhai’s innings in that weather, in that condition, I still think it was one of the best innings by a Bangladeshi in international cricket.
DSS: Your favourite memory…
KMS: I had some role in every match, but beating Pakistan was the best moment in my career. Not only did I have a role in the game, I was the man-of-the-match. I still feel thrilled when I think about that day.
DSS: How different is the World Cup for you and this generation of cricketers?
KMS: Everything about the tournament was new for us. But this generation gets to play the World Cup and it is almost a given that they would play in the tournament. But yes, the pressure and atmosphere is similar.